Macheesmo

Cooking with Confidence
Hopefully, you have an artistic friend.
Desserts, Holidays, Vegetarian

The Gingerbread Boy

by Nick

I was looking for a great cookie recipe to top off my 12 cookies of Christmas list, but instead of going for something elaborate, I thought I would go the simple route. An old school gingerbread recipe seemed like the perfect thing.

But I didn’t want to do just gingerbread cookies. I wanted to go big. So I made this:

The GIngerbread man has come down with a horrible disease.

The Gingerbread man has come down with a horrible disease.

You might think that some of the design work on this guy isn’t the most professional, but I think that it is pretty freakin’ good. I had a little helper, my nephew Ethan, for the design process. As you can see, he enjoyed the project.

You can guess where this went...

You can guess where this went…

But let’s talk about the cookies. Because they are actually delicious. I got the recipe from Elise over at Simply Recipes and it is a really good. As it tends to go when I make a new dish and I’m in a hurry, I messed it up a bit, but it still turned out great.

Yield
2 dozen cookies
Prep Time
Total Time
Print Recipe

Gingerbread Cookies

Ingredients

  • Gingerbread Recipe:
  • 3 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups butter (preferably unsalted) at room temp
  • 3/4 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup dark-brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground nutmeg (fresh is best)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
  • Icing:
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 Teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar

Directions

1) To start this recipe take your dry ingredients (flour, spices, and baking soda) and mix them well in a bowl.

2) Then you want to cream your butter with your sugar. Start beating your butter for a few minutes and then add in your sugar. The sugar will help make the butter light and fluffy. After a few minutes beat in your egg and molasses as well.

3) Slowly mix in your dry ingredients with your wet and you will have a very thick dough. Near the end you will probably have to work it with your hands.

4) Divide the dough into two balls and place it in a cold place to chill for at least an hour.

5) Roll dough into about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into any shapes you want!

6) Bake cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet for 7-8 minutes at 350 degrees F.

7) For a quick icing, just beat one egg white which I beat until fluffy and then I whisked in my lemon juice and powdered sugar. Super-easy and works great for decorating these guys. I put mine in a Ziploc bag and cut off the very tip of it to make a redneck pastry bag.

Adapted from Simply Recipes.


To start this recipe take your dry ingredients (flour, spices, and baking soda) and mix them well in a bowl. This recipe is really made by having good spices so if you have some jar of ground cloves that has been in your pantry for ten years, now would be a perfect time to replace it.

Then you want to cream your butter with your sugar. Start beating your butter for a few minutes and then add in your sugar. The sugar will help make the butter light and fluffy. After a few minutes beat in your egg and molasses as well.

Can you spot the mistake?

Can you spot the mistake?

If you look at the above photo you will note one obvious mess up, but there is a second less obvious mess up as well. I accidentally added my sugar to my dry ingredients rather than cream it in with the butter. OOPS. That’s a pretty big mistake actually. Rather than re-do it I just added 1/4 cup of sugar to my butter to help it along. My ending cookies were maybe a bit sweeter than the originals. Nobody complained.

The second less obvious thing was that I used light brown sugar rather than dark brown sugar. I wasn’t going to go to the store just for that.

My cookies came out great even with those mistakes, but I would recommend following the recipe if you want guaranteed success.

Slowly mix in your dry ingredients with your wet and you will have a very thick dough. Near the end you will probably have to work it with your hands.

Thick dough. Awesome dough.

Thick dough. Awesome dough.

Divide the dough into two balls and place it in a cold place to chill for at least an hour. I chose the frigid Wyoming air for my cooler.

The barren wasteland I call home is my natural fridge.

The barren wasteland I call home is my natural fridge.

After an hour we are ready to roll (HA!). I find this dough much easier to roll if you slap it between two pieces of wax paper. Then roll it to your desired thickness. I like mine maybe 1/4 inch thick.

Breaking tradition with various gingerbread shapes.

Breaking tradition with various gingerbread shapes.

If you are making regular cookies, cut them out and put them on an un-greased cookie sheet. They need to cook for 7 minutes at 350. I always err on the side of undercooked for these guys. Some people like crispy ginger cookies in which case you should cook them for 8-9 minutes.

Stellar cookies.

Stellar cookies.

But say you want to be like me and make one or two really large guys. Roll your dough a bit thicker (maybe 1/3 inch thick). Get an artistic friend to draw you a large dude and cut out the design. Then go around the edges with a sharp knife. Don’t worry, the dough is pretty easy to cut like this. It isn’t really sticky.

Hopefully, you have an artistic friend.

Hopefully, you have an artistic friend.

Again bake these at 350 for about 7 minutes.

The icing I made to decorate these with was just one egg white which I beat until fluffy and then I whisked in my lemon juice and powdered sugar. Super-easy and works great for decorating these guys. I put mine in a Ziploc bag and cut off the very tip of it to make a redneck pastry bag.

As you can see, we had a lot of fun.

Absolute joy.

Absolute joy.

Merry Christmas Eve everybody!